Under what conditions can I file for wrongful termination?

UPDATED: May 29, 2012

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Under what conditions can I file for wrongful termination?

I was terminated based on a superficial investigation that was not conclusive and hearsay by another employee that I was misusing company time. The employee in question worked at a different work site, and had no proof. I was not guilty of the accusations. After being terminated later, my boss, who suffered allegations from the same employee sent me a letter via Facebook, stating she was wrong to fire me and that she was sorry. Should I file for wrongful termination?

Asked on May 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An employer can hire or fire and change any of the terms of employment much as it sees fit or deems necessary. In turn, an employee may freely quit their job. This is known as "at will employment". Therefore, unless you were afforded protection via an employment contract, union agreement or company policy, I'm afraid that you have no rights here. So unfortunately, while your discharge was unfair, it was legal.

Note: Being fired for a discriminatory reason would be illegal.

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